Transgender Inmate Sues DOC For Hormone Therapy

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Olivia Covington for www.theindianalawyer.com

A transgender inmate is suing the Indiana Department of Correction and is seeking a preliminary injunction that would require the department to provide hormone therapy to treat gender dysphoria.

The ACLU of Indiana filed a complaint on behalf of Anthony Loveday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Tuesday, alleging the DOC violated Loveday’s Eighth Amendment rights by remaining “deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate.” Specifically, the complaint alleges claims the DOC has continued to deny hormone therapy to treat Loveday’s gender dysphoria due to a blanket policy that allows DOC medical professionals to withhold hormone therapy if an inmate was not receiving it before being incarcerated. Loveday was diagnosed after entering the state prison in Michigan City.

According to the complaint, Loveday suffers from anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation as a direct result of gender dysphoria. The complaint also asserts the World Professional Health Association for Transgender Health recognizes hormone therapy as a legitimate treatment for that condition. Loveday is biologically male but identifies as female.

While Loveday currently receives general talk therapy twice a month, the complaint claims the symptoms of gender dysphoria continued to persist. That’s why Loveday filed a grievance requesting hormone therapy in August.

 The DOC denied that request in September, referring to an informal policy that holds “the contractual medical staff nor the IDOC are not under any obligation to provide hormone therapy for offenders who discover they are Transgender while incarcerated.”

Loveday then appealed that decision, but the DOC maintained its position. A spokesman for the DOC referred questions to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office. A message was left with a spokesman for Hill’s office.

The Tuesday complaint seeks a declaration the DOC’s actions violate Loveday’s Eighth Amendment rights and a preliminary injunction enjoining the department to provide the requested hormone therapy. A separate motion for preliminary injunction seeking the same relief was filed on Thursday.

The case is Anthony Loveday v. Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Correction, 1:17-cv-04123.

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